Friday, March 5, 2010

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Sorry folks, the sugar post is going to have to wait. I'm working on it but it's going to take longer to finish it and there's something else I want to write about today. I just came across an article (via runningaroundnormal.com) about Lincoln University implementing a fitness requirement for those students with a BMI of 30 or more. The article is from last fall and one of the comments suggests that the policy has either been revoked or changed, but I'm still on FIRE over this topic. Recently there have been talks of elementary schools weighing and measuring children to calculate BMI and then sending letters home to the parents to alert them of their childrens' weight statuses. The government has eliminated health and fitness classes from our schools and subsidized our food supply so that the majority or our nourishment comes from refined, unhealthy sources. We are an overweight, sick population and it's easy to point the fingers and say it's our fault. We let ourselves get that way. They didn't force us to eat all the crap that they're slinging! But guess what. THEY DID. Our food supply is deadly and most of us don't even know it. We trust the packages that say they're higher in fiber and contain vitamins and minerals to be safe. We believe that the foods in the perimeter of the supermarket are natural and healthy. We believe that the ingredients in our packaged foods are harmless. The crackers are made from whole grain, the bread doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup, the salad dressing is sugar free, low sodium, lite...

Well, let me tell you something. You can argue with me until you're blue in the face that our bodies have "evolved" to tolerate the crap we eat now but take a look around you. We are a mess. We have diabetes, crohn's, celiac, lupus, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporisis, poly-cystic ovary syndrome, cancer, multiple food allergies and intolerances, (should I go on?) and we are GIGANTICALLY overweight. It's no longer a matter of will-power. Our bodies are breaking because we are not feeding it properly. Once you start to study the way the body functions, you realize that we are like computers or even better, like a car. We are designed to run on a certain fuel and when we constantly feed it with econo-grade instead of premium, the engine shuts down.

I hear this line time and time again - Obesity can lead to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc etc. That sentence needs to be changed. Being overweight should be one of those diseases and it should read something like this - not taking care of your body by eating properly and exercising can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Obesity is not a symptom, it's a disease. Having said that, Americans need to be taught exactly what "eating properly and exercising" means. Eating properly does not mean stocking up on frozen Lean Cuisines and Smart Ones. We need education and not just in school, but for adults of all ages. People these days just don't know what good health means and it's a tragedy.

A young girl approached me at the gym this morning and asked a few exercise and nutrition questions. Of course I told her that I am not a registered dietitian but that I'd give her advice from my own personal experience and research. I asked her to think about how we evolved and how our bodies are designed to eat. I said that if it is edible in nature than we should be eating it. It was like a light dawning and she said "oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense!" It's not exactly that simple anymore with the introduction of genetically modified foods, but it's a start. My wish is for a food revolution in this country. Maybe I can help get it started. Who's with me???

5 comments:

Sweetpea said...

You are already off to a great start. Wonderful post! Thank you so much for helping to educate me and others so that we can be healthier.

Jenn said...

This is exactly my thoughts! What a great way to explain it! We've started making changes in our house, but it's hard to grow enough of our own food in a suburban neighborhood...

Nicole said...

I am so with you.... I cant get my family to listen when I try to talk about being healthy and cutting out the soda/chips/candy etc etc... I say "Look at me, how healthy I am, dont you want to be like this?" but they seem to forget that I was once 40 lbs heavier with health problems 2 years ago, and think I just have good genes. Ugh, family is the most frustrating to help change!

sallybranwyn said...

Slightly off topic, but have you heard about Jamie Oliver's upcoming show? His show was a big hit in Britain, and now he's trying America. The idea is to show people how to eat healthfully and how to cook, etc. I have high hopes because I think he's done a lot of great, great work for Britain already. I think the show starts March 24.

Jen said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! Sally I have seen the promos for that new show and I can't wait to see it!! I love Jamie Oliver!